Millions of students hail to the UK every year with gleaming eyes and soaring hearts to catch their dream career by the tail. But, as much as you wish an admission letter is all it takes to fly overseas, you know a student visa is your actual license to go abroad. The travel restrictions imposed on many countries on the onset of coronavirus only make things tedious. We understand the uncertainty looming over you every step of your way. But to ease the process, we are here with a step by step guide to help you through the whole process.
The nature of a UK visa depends on your home country and the period of your course. For example, if your course is 8 to 11 months long, a short-term student visa suffices, whereas you need a tier 4 student visa for graduate programs taking two years or more. Therefore, it’s wise to start the visa procedure at least three months before your course starts. Apart from being the license to your study abroad dream, the UK student visa allows you to work part-time during your course and take up full-time jobs in the country after graduation.
1. Get financial support for your studies
While applying for a student visa, you need to show you have sufficient funds for covering your tuition fees, transportation cost, rent, and other living expenses in the UK. There are many ways to get financial support for your studies. You can apply for educational loans or scholarships or find someone to sponsor your studies. In either case, you need to produce the supporting documents on demand. Keep an eye on the official website of Visa and Immigration to get the latest information on the requirements and forms of financial support.
2. Have all your documents ready
Once you get an offer letter from the University of your choice, acknowledge the mail clearly stating your willingness to accept the offer. Once the University receives a confirmation from your end, they will send a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’(CAS) which is the most crucial document for the student visa application. Apart from that, you must have a valid passport, a recent photo, academic transcripts, English language scores, bank statements, an authorised letter from your fund provider, and all certificates translated into English. You also need a consent letter from a parent or a guardian if you are below 18 years.
3. Read the Covid guidelines of visa application
With the pandemic rising, students from many countries are restricted from entering the UK. So, you have to make sure your home country is not on the red list of countries with a travel ban. Follow the official pages of the UK government for the travel restrictions and regulations during the pandemic. Keep in touch with your University officials for any updates on the classes and projects. You should stay extra cautious while booking a neat and safe place to stay. Many student housing in the University of Edinburgh and the student accommodation near University College London have well-sanitized rooms complying with the covid protocols.
4. Fill the visa application online and pay the fee
Once you have the relevant documents, fill the online application form on the official website. Choose the type of visa and fill in all the personal details. You can submit the form only after paying the tier 4 student visa fee of £328. For short-term courses lasting up to six months, visa application costs only £89. However, the application fee may increase in case of urgent travel plans. If you are planning to stay for more than six months, you also have to pay £150 per year for healthcare. This ensures full access to healthcare during your stay in the UK.
5. Get an appointment and submit your documents
When you submit the application, you will be asked to make an appointment with a nearby visa application centre. Be present at the centre on the scheduled date with all necessary documents supporting the credibility of your application. Apart from the academic and administrative papers, a digital photograph and finger scans will be taken in the presence of the visa officer. With rising study abroad scams, biometrics are required to keep track of all applicants. In addition, they may ask you questions regarding the course, the benefits and expectation to check if you’re genuine.
6. Receive your student visa and passport
Once you submit the application and required documents for verification, it takes typically 3 weeks to process. Please note that you cannot collect your visa or passport in person. They will be sent to you by the Embassy Courier service. Make sure you fill in the correct address and contact information. You can travel to the UK up to one month before the course starts. So make sure you book the flights and accommodation on time. Student housing in Imperial College of London and University of Glasgow see a rush of student housing booking near the start of term. Your visa application will be accepted if there are no severe discrepancies.
7. Collect the residential permit on arrival
Because of unexpected flight cancellations and travel bans due to the pandemic, you have a period of 90 days to fly to the UK once you have the visa. However, after arriving at your destination, make sure you collect your Biometric Residential Permit within ten days. It serves as your identity proof when you stay in the UK or travel to other countries during your stay there. You need the permit to open a bank account or to apply for insurance.
How can Amberstudent help you?
We at AmberStudent are devoted to giving you the best experience and option for student accommodation worldwide because we apprehend its value. We have upgraded ourselves continuously with the COVID policies and would be more than eager to assist you in those.
Arya Antherjanam V (Content writing and SEO marketing intern at AmberStudent)
Arya Antherjanam V, a postgraduate in Physics, dropped her research studies to take up writing full time. A content writer by day, a poet by night, and a performer on weekends, she believes that conversations can change the world. A member of different poetry communities and co-author of a couple of anthologies, she intends to impart light and hope through her words.